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Starting Over Again

Alice and three of her children at a temporary home

On June 22, 2018, violent Muslims attacked several villages in Nigeria. The attackers burned Christians’ houses and left 7,500 homeless. The displaced Christians included Alice Bulus and her five children.

A Muslim mosque leader let 200 of the people find shelter in his mosque, saving their lives. The Voice of the Martyrs helped Alice and her kids move to another place where they started their lives over again.

It wasn’t the first time they had to start over.

Starting Over the First Time
Nine years ago, violent fighters attacked their home around midnight. Sadly, Alice’s husband, the children’s father, died in the attack. Alice recognized one of the attackers — he was her family’s neighbor.

After her husband died, Alice tried to support her children by continuing to farm their small plot of land.

Starting Over Again
Then the enemies attacked twice more. The family’s home was gone. For a while, they lived in the hallway of an elderly woman’s home. Later, a Christian family offered them a small apartment. Alice began farming again and doing odd jobs to take care of her family.

In 2015, the militants returned and destroyed all her crops.

Starting Over the Third Time
Alice replanted her crops, and VOM helped her family rent a small house where they started their lives over yet again, interrupted by the 2018 attack. With VOM’s help, Alice has saved a little money, and her family is slowly building a home of their own.

“No More Afraid”
Since the attacks, Alice has seen the neighbor who killed her husband. He is not in jail. She gathered the courage to approach him and greet him kindly. “I have never felt anger toward them,” Alice said. “The Bible already said this [persecution] would happen and said we should watch and pray….The Word encourages me all the time because it says the Lord gives and the Lord takes. We are just here for a time. Right now, I am no more afraid.”

(Source: The October 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Edited for length and clarity.)

To Think About
*What does Alice mean when she says, “We are just here for a time?”
*Can you think of five things to pray for Alice and her family?
*Try fitting several people in a small hallway. Discuss how you would live in the hallway if you had to stay there for a long time. How would you divide the space? Where would you sleep?


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